NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organization

  • Rapid Deployable Corps, The -
    The Rapid Deployable Corps Commanding NATO troops on missions wherever necessary NATO’s Rapid Deployable Corps are High Readiness Headquarters, which can be quickly dispatched to lead NATO troops on missions within or beyond the territory of NATO member states. The corps can be deployed for a wide range of missions: from disaster management, humanitarian assistance and peace support to counterterrorism and high-intensity warfighting. They can command and control forces from the size of a brigade numbering thousands of troops up to a corps of tens of thousands. There are currently six NATO Rapid Deployable Corps, which are each capable of commanding up to 60,000 soldiers. What are their tasks and responsibilities? The Rapid Deployable Corps are an integral element of the ongoing efforts to transform NATO’s force structure and capabilities to meet 21st century security threats. Their key function is to provide NATO with deployable command elements, which can be dispatched quickly to lead troops wherever necessary. The general requirement for High Readiness Forces Headquarters is to be ready to deploy its first elements within 10 days and the entire force within two months. On Stand-by Readiness The corps participate in the NATO Response Force (NRF)- a highly ready and technologically advanced force made up of land, air, sea, and special forces components that can be deployed at short notice to wherever needed. Under the NRF’s rotation system, a designated Rapid Deployable Corps assumes command of the land component of the NRF for a fixed twelve-month period, during which it is on stand-by readiness. This means that the headquarters must be able to deploy on short notice. Prior to this, the corps undergo an intense six-month training programme, which tests its procedures for planning and conducting combined joint crisis response operations. The corps also play a central role in NATO’s ongoing operations. The Spanish corps commanded the land elements of the NATO Response Force that were deployed to Pakistan in late 2005 as part of NATO’s disaster assistance to the country following the devastating October 2005 earthquake. In 2006, the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC) commanded the International Security Assistance Force, which is deployed in Afghanistan under NATO’s lead and a UN mandate to assist the Afghan government in providing stability and security for its citizens. The Rapid Deployable Corps – Italy, the Rapid Deployable Corps - Turkey, Eurocorps, and the Rapid Deployable German-Netherlands Corps have also commanded ISAF. In addition, ARRC and Eurocorps played an important role in NATO’s operations in Bosnia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM)1 and Kosovo. A Broad Spectrum of Capabilities The Rapid Deployable Corps possess a broad spectrum of capabilities. Each corps has undergone an intense NATO operational evaluation programme in order to qualify as a NATO Rapid Deployable Headquarters. The headquarters have all had to demonstrate their capabilities in 50 areas, both in the barracks and in the field. This includes planning, logistics, administration, and command and control. This certification process is designed to ensure that the headquarters are capable of meeting the exacting and demanding challenges of a rapid deployment into various operational environments. Who participates? The Corps are multinational, but are sponsored and paid by one or more ‘framework nations’ who provide the bulk of the headquarters’ personnel, equipment and financial resources. Britain is the framework nation of the ARRC, while Italy, Spain, and Turkey have sponsored the Rapid Deployable Corps - Italy, Spain and Turkey, respectively. Germany and the Netherlands share costs for the German-Netherlands Rapid Deployable Corps, while Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg and Spain are framework nations of the Eurocorps. The Corps are open to personnel contributions from all the other NATO nations and several nations participate within each Rapid Deployable Corps. How do they work in practice? All Rapid Deployable Corps Headquarters, except Eurocorps, belong to NATO’s integrated military structure. This means that they operate under the direct operational command of the Supreme Allied Commander Europe. Political authorisation to use the corps requires the political authorisation of the North Atlantic Council, NATO’s principal decision-making body, and is given on a case-by-case basis as the result of a consensual decision between all of the 28 NATO nations. In addition, any commitment of the Eurocorps requires an exclusive decision of the member states, Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg and Spain. How did it evolve? The Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC), originally based in Rheindalen, Germany, but now in Innsworth, United Kingdom, was the first such corps, created in 1992. Following a review of NATO force structures, four more High Readiness Force Headquarters were established in 2002. These are: the NATO Rapid Deployable Corps – Italy (NRDC-IT) in Solbiate Olana near Milan, Italy; the NATO Rapid Deployable Corps – Spain (NRDC-Spain) in Valencia, Spain; the NATO Rapid Deployable Corps – Turkey (NRDC-T) based near Istanbul, Turkey; and the Rapid Deployable German-Netherlands Corps based in Münster, Germany. In addition to this, since 2002 the Eurocorps, based in Strasbourg, France , has a technical agreement with NATO and can be used for NATO missions.
  • Reconnaissance (JISR), Joint Intelligence, Surveillance and -
    Joint Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (JISR) Joint Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance is vital for all military operations. It provides information and intelligence to decision-makers and action-takers, helping them make informed, timely and accurate decisions. While surveillance and reconnaissance can answer the questions “what,” “when” and “where”, the combined elements from various intelligence sources and disciplines provide the answers to “how” and “why”. When all of this is combined, you create Joint ISR. For over 60 years, the enduring success of NATO has been achieved through the close cooperation between Allies who are driven by a shared set of democratic beliefs and values.  These Allies work together in NATO to bring stability to a complex 21 st century security environment. NATO’s 2012 Chicago Summit established the objective to strengthen cooperation and ensure tighter connections between Allied forces. During the Summit, the Allied Heads of State and Government expressed the ambition to provide NATO with an enduring and permanently available JISR capability, giving the Alliance the eyes and ears it needs to achieve strategic decision advantage. Components Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) provides the foundation for all military operations, and its principles have been used in warfare for centuries. The individual elements of ISR are: Intelligence : the final product derived from surveillance and reconnaissance, fused with other information; Surveillance : the persistent monitoring of a target; and Reconnaissance : information-gathering conducted to answer a specific military question. Both surveillance and reconnaissance can include visual observation (for example soldiers on the ground covertly watching a target, Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) with cameras), as well as electronic observation. The difference between surveillance and reconnaissance has to do with time and specificity; surveillance is a more prolonged and deliberate activity, while reconnaissance missions are generally rapid and targeted to retrieve specific information. Once surveillance and reconnaissance information has been obtained, intelligence specialists can analyse it, fuse it with other information from other data sources and produce the intelligence which is then used to inform military and civilian decision-makers, particularly for the planning and conduct of operations. While all countries have their own sources and methods for the production of intelligence, it is not always easy for them to share their intelligence with Allies.  Sometimes this is due to security concerns, sometimes to internal procedural requirements, and sometimes to technological constraints. The objective of NATO Joint ISR is to champion the concept of “need to share” over the concept of “need to know.”  This does not mean that all Allies will automatically share everything, but rather that NATO can facilitate the procedures and technology to promote sharing while simultaneously providing information assurance (i.e., the protection of data and networks).  This way, Allies can have a holistic picture of whatever crisis is occurring and NATO decision-makers can make well-informed, timely and accurate decisions. To achieve this ambition, the following must be in place: Trained ISR experts Having a cadre of experts within NATO who fully understand how to use ISR to support NATO’s decision-makers; and Information assurance: protection of data and networks Special procedures need to be in place to provide information assurance; it takes time and resources to obtain a genuinely efficient, secure, holistic and relevant Joint ISR system. In fact, it took ten years to develop the successful mission network used in Afghanistan, and NATO intends to capitalise on that effort. Mechanism The experience the Alliance gained from its operations in Afghanistan and Libya has resulted in collection assets (for example information gathering equipment such as surveillance aircraft) becoming far more accessible to military personnel, even at the lowest tactical levels. Assets that would have been used only for strategic purposes at the discretion of military generals 15 years ago are now widely available and their use is decentralised. This shift occurred because NATO member countries procured significant numbers of maritime, land and airborne collection assets to help them locate adversaries, who often operate in complex environments and among civilian populations. To enable information-gathering to take place, and to ensure that information is analysed and intelligence is produced for decision-makers, there are a number of primary actors involved, including: Surveillance and reconnaissance collection assets Their role is to collect information. Examples include Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS), AWACS aircraft which use radar, observation satellites, electronic assets and special ground reconnaissance troops. Intelligence analysts Their role is to exploit and analyse information from multiple sources. Examples include national military and civilian analysts working at the strategic level in intelligence organisations, imagery analysts at all levels, and encryption experts. Decision-makers Their role is to use intelligence to inform their decision-making. Examples include political leaders and military commanders. Evolution Based on the experience NATO Allies gained in recent operations, the Alliance is looking to establish a permanent, effective ISR system. NATO aims to provide Allies with a mechanism which brings together: data and information gathered through Smart Defence projects such as the Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) system or the AWACS; and a wide variety of national ISR capabilities, including troops on the ground, maritime and air assets, space-based platforms such as satellites, and Special Operations Forces. To provide a foundation for NATO’s Joint ISR ambition, the Alliance is currently developing a JISR project aimed at providing the following pillars: Training and education The personnel involved with the Joint ISR capability in NATO will possess expertise to guarantee the efficiency of the JISR enterprise. This area of the project examines ways to ensure that NATO personnel receive the highest standard of ISR training and education. Doctrine and procedures To improve interoperability, efficiency, coherence and effectiveness, Joint ISR doctrine and procedures will be continuously developed and reviewed, from strategic thinking to tactical procedures. Networking environment NATO communication and information systems (CIS) will guarantee efficient collaboration and sharing of ISR data, products and applications between the Allies. This is the core business of NATO’s Joint ISR effort. Technical trials take place every two years in order to demonstrate and assess progress on the Alliance’s JISR capabilities in a real-world environment.  The latest trial, Unified Vision, took place in Norway in 2014. It was the largest JISR event in the history of the Alliance.
  • Reform, NATO -
    NATO reform At the Lisbon Summit, in November 2010, NATO leaders endorsed a new Strategic Concept, which states that the Alliance will “engage in a process of continual reform, to streamline structures, improve working methods and maximise efficiency.” This process had already started in June 2010 with the internal organisation of NATO Headquarters, i.e. the NATO Committee review. In parallel, NATO also engaged in the reform of its Command Structure – the NATO Command Structure Review - and that of its Agencies – the NATO Agencies Review. The Committee Review has been fully implemented; the NATO Command Structure Review was launched at the Lisbon Summit and the approval of the model and geographical footprint was approved by defence ministers in June 2011. Its implementation was conducted over a period of one year; at the Lisbon Summit, Allies agreed to streamline the 14 NATO agencies into three major programmatic themes: procurement, support, and communications and information. The reform has been implemented through several phases, to incrementally achieve increased effectiveness, efficiency and cost savings, while preserving capability and service delivery. Additionally, NATO’s International Staff is being reviewed as part of this broader package of reform being undertaken within the Organization. Similarly to the other initiatives, it aims to streamline and adapt structures to today’s environment. A leaner, more affordable NATO 26 Jul. 2012 newYTPlayer('SNDsh0R3Xf4','89262',530,300); In this time of economic austerity the Alliance is becoming more affordable and more deployable by restructuring the NATO Command Structure. A leaner, more affordable NATO 26 Jul. 2012 In this time of economic austerity the Alliance is becoming more affordable and more deployable by restructuring the NATO Command Structure.
  • Reserve forces
    Reserve forces As threats to global security have evolved, so too has the role of reserve forces in NATO. Reservists play a crucial role in building bridges between military and non-military personnel across the Alliance and are recognized as indispensable to the Alliance’s defence at the earliest stages of a conflict. Although the Alliance does not have or control its own Reserve Forces, through the National Reserve Forces Committee (NRFC) it works with the Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers, known by its French acronym CIOR, and the Interallied Confederation of Medical Reserve Officers (CIOMR) to tackle reservist issues. Whenever possible the CIOR, the CIOMR and the NRFC convene at the same time and place. The three bodies also work to harmonize their respective programmes and projects. The NRFC and CIOR work is complementary, particularly where requirements converge. NRFC focuses more on the military policy level, while CIOR provides input from a civilian point of view. Both mainly serve as a place for the exchange of views of national best practices. The Military Committee is briefed once a year on the activities of these organizations. The National Reserve Forces Committee (NRFC) Reserve Forces and policy matters relating to them were considered, until the early 1980s, to be a national issue only and therefore not within the remit of NATO. The NRFC was established in 1981 as the central forum of the Alliance for reservist matters. However, it wasn’t until 1987 that a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the NRFC and the CIOR formally establishing areas of work. Objectives and responsibilities The NRFC has the task of preparing conceptual proposals and developing approaches as an advisory body for the Military Committee and member countries in this area. Its objectives and responsibilities were approved by the Military Committee (MC 392) on 18 November 1996 and amended on 1 April 1998. These are defined as: Strengthen the readiness of the Alliance Reserves by providing a forum for informal and candid exchanges of information. Providing policy advice on Reserve issues to the Military Committee. Providing advice and support to the CIOR to assist their activities in support of Alliance goals and advise the Military Committee on its relationship with CIOR. Since 1996, the NRFC has focused on strengthening the operational readiness of NATO reserve forces by broadening the exchange of information and deploying reserve forces jointly with active forces. The Committee does not address strategic, tactical or operational issues. This is the prerogative of the member nations or the NATO military command structure. Functioning of the committee Currently 23 NATO nations are members while Australia has been granted permanent observer status. The NRFC holds plenary conferences at least twice a year and almost all NATO countries are members – the exceptions being Albania, Iceland, Luxembourg, Portugal and Croatia. It consists of a chairman and a secretariat, national delegations and observers. The International Military Staff, Allied Command Operations and Allied Command Transformation are represented by liaison officers. Committee delegations are appointed by their respective national ministries of defence, and the national heads of delegations are mostly heads of reserve or commissioners of reserve allied forces. Chairmanship is held for a period of two years by one of the member countries. Meetings are organised and conducted by the Chairman, who also coordinates with the Committee. The Secretariat of the NRFC is of the same country as the Chairman. The Committee retains the authority to establish its own procedures. The Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers (CIOR) The Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers is an independent body that was founded in 1948. It represents the reserve officers from 28 NATO members and eight associated countries. It was officially recognized by NATO in 1976 (MC 248/1) with the objectives of providing advice on the best utilization of reservists, continuing to improve the knowledge of NATO authorities about national Reserve Forces, and exchange information between member nations. It is a non-political, non-governmental, non-profit-making organisation which cooperates with the Alliance on reservists’ issues. The members of the CIOR associations are active as civilians and professionals in addition to their role as reserve officers. This dual role allows them to contribute to a better understanding of security and defence issues within their national populations, as well as bringing civilian expertise and experiences to the challenges facing reserve forces at NATO. Delegates to the CIOR are elected by their national reserve officer associations. The head of each delegation is a CIOR vice-president. The Confederation is structured around a constitution that provides for a rotating presidency, an executive council comprised of vice-presidents, key committees and several annual events that promote training, education and professional development of reserve forces. CIOR main roles: Improving “NATO understanding of CIOR goals and activities, by informing NATO Authorities, periodically briefing the Military Committee”. To increase cooperation between NATO and CIOR “by providing advice from CIOR’s perspective on the best utilization of reservists in the defence of NATO and in non Art. 5 operations.” “To contribute to improving the knowledge of NATO authorities about national Reserve Forces and the role of the Reserve Forces in common NATO defence and new missions, particularly from the CIOR perspective.” “To utilise CIOR knowledge of reserve affairs within each member nation in order to inspire developments in the organization, administration and social aspects, where appropriate, of Reserve Forces and in particular of Reserve Officers.” CIOR Committees: Defence Attitudes & Security Issues Committee Civil Military Cooperation Committee Military Competitions Committee Legal Committee Partnership for Peace & Outreach Committee Language Academy Committee Seminar Committee Young Reserve Officers Committee The main meetings of the CIOR are held on an annual basis in the summer, with locations alternating among member countries. It also organises a winter conference each year in Brussels, Belgium, for the CIOR Council and Committees. The Organisation is financed by annual subscriptions from its component national associations. The CIOR has a permanent representative at NATO HQ in the IMS Plans and Policy Division. CIOMR The Confédération interallié des officiers médicaux de réserve (Interallied Confederation of Medical Reserve Officers, or CIOMR) is an associated member of the CIOR. Established in 1947, the CIOMR is the official organisation of medical officers within Reserve Forces from countries which were to become NATO members. Originally founded by Belgium, France and the Netherlands, the Organisation now includes all CIOR member countries. It works to establish close professional relations with the medical doctors and services of NATO countries and promotes effective collaboration with the active forces of the Alliance.
  • Resource Policy and Planning Board, The -
    The Resource Policy and Planning Board The Resource Policy and Planning Board (RPPB) is the senior advisory body to the North Atlantic Council on the management of all NATO resources. It has responsibility for the overall management of NATO’s civil and military budgets, as well as the NATO Security Investment Programme (NSIP) and manpower. The Budget Committee and the Investment Committee report to the RPPB. The Budget Committee reviews and recommends civil and military budgets, while the Investment Committee is responsible for the implementation of the NSIP, which finances the provision of the installations and facilities needed to support the roles of the two strategic commands that exceed national defence requirements of individual member countries. . Main roles and functions The RPPB is responsible for resource policy, including eligibility and affordability, and is tasked with planning and performance assessment. The RPPB receives strategic guidance from the NAC and provides coherence and guidance to the work of resource committees. It advises Council on the resource implications of new initiatives, operations and missions, as it does the Military Committee on the cost and investment implications of any of the committee’s decisions. The RPPB was set up in July 2010 as the only financial committee reporting directly to the North Atlantic Council. It succeeded the Senior Resource Board, which was one of four financial committees (Senior Resource Board, Civil Budget Committee, Military Budget Committee and the Infrastructure Committee) reporting to the NAC. The Senior Resource Board itself was created in the 1990s in an effort to optimize the allocation of military common-funded resources and reinforce management structures. At the same time, capability packages were established to identify the assets available to and required by NATO military commanders. These capability packages are a means to assess identified Alliance capabilities in terms of both capital investment and recurrent operating and maintenance costs as well as the civilian and military manpower required to accomplish the task. The Board reviews these capability packages and endorses them from the point of view of their resource implications and eligibility for common funding prior to their approval by the North Atlantic Council. Each year, the RPPB also recommends for approval by the Council a comprehensive Medium Term Resource Plan, which sets financial ceilings for the following year and planning figures for the four subsequent years. This five-year Medium Term Resource Plan sets the parameters within which the Budget and the Investment Committees oversee the preparation and execution of their respective budgets and plans. The Board also produces an Annual Report, which allows the Council to monitor the adequacy of resource allocations in relation to requirements. Working mechanisms All NATO member countries are represented on this board, which is chaired by a national chairman selected on a rotational basis. Besides national representatives, representatives of the International Military Staff, NATO Strategic Commanders, and Chairmen of the Budget Committee and Investment Committee also attend the Board's meetings. The Board is supported by the NATO Office of Resources.
  • Response Force, NATO -
    NATO Response Force At the centre of NATO transformation The NATO Response Force (NRF) is a highly ready and technologically advanced multinational force made up of land, air, maritime and Special Operations Forces components that the Alliance can deploy quickly, wherever needed. The NRF will become more important post-2014, after the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) has completed its mission in Afghanistan. It will provide a vehicle to demonstrate operational readiness and act as a “testbed” for Alliance transformation. It can be used in the implementation of NATO’s Connected Forces Initiative (CFI) as a vehicle for greater cooperation in education and training, increased exercises and better use of technology. On 21 February 2013, NATO Defence Ministers agreed that the NRF will be at the core of the CFI in order to maintain NATO’s readiness and combat-effectiveness. As part of the initiative, the ministers agreed that the Alliance should hold a major live exercise in 2015 that will include the NATO Response Force, and draw up a comprehensive programme of training and exercises for the period 2015-2020. The NRF is comprised of three parts: a command and control element from the NATO Command Structure; the Immediate Response Force, a joint force of around 13,000 high-readiness troops provided by Allies; and a Response Forces Pool, which can supplement the Immediate Response Force when necessary. Purpose The NRF has the overarching purpose of being able to provide a rapid military response to an emerging crisis, whether for collective defence purposes or for other crisis-response operations. The NRF gives the Alliance the means to respond swiftly to various types of crises anywhere in the world. It is also a driving engine of NATO’s military transformation. A rotational force The NRF is based on a rotational system where Allied nations commit land, air, maritime or Special Operations Forces units to the Immediate Response Force. Rotations were initially for a six-month period, but since 2012, the rotation periods have been extended to 12 months. The flexibility offered by the Response Forces Pool, which permits NATO nations to make contributions on their own terms for durations of their choosing, is particularly relevant in this regard. The NRF is also open to partner countries, once approved by the North Atlantic Council. Participation in the Immediate Response Force is preceded by national preparation, followed by training with other participants in the multinational force. As units rotate through the NRF, the associated high standards, concepts and technologies are gradually spread throughout the Alliance, thereby fulfilling one of the key purposes of the NATO Response Force – the further transformation of Allied forces. Operational command of the NRF currently alternates among NATO’s Joint Force Commands in Brunssum, the Netherlands and Naples, Italy. A powerful package The Immediate Response Force has: a brigade-sized land component based on three Battle Groups and their supporting elements; a maritime component based on the Standing NATO Maritime Group (SNMG) and the Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group (SNMCMG); a combat air and air-support component; Special Operations Forces; and a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) defence task force. Before use, the force will be tailored (adjusted in size and capability) to match the demands of any specific operation to which it is committed. Any mission, anywhere The NRF provides a visible assurance of NATO’s cohesion and commitment to deterrence and collective defence. Each rotation of the force has to prepare itself for a wide range of tasks. These include contributing to the preservation of territorial integrity, making a demonstration of force, peace-support operations, disaster relief, protecting critical infrastructure and security operations. Initial-entry operations are conducted jointly as part of a larger force to facilitate the arrival of follow-on forces. Elements of the NRF helped protect the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece, and were deployed to support the Afghan presidential elections in September of the same year. The NRF has also been used in disaster relief. In September and October 2005, aircraft from the NATO Response Force delivered relief supplies donated by NATO member and partner countries to the US to assist in dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. From October 2005 to February 2006, elements of the NATO Response Force were used in the disaster-relief effort in Pakistan, following the devastating 8 October earthquake. Aircraft from the NRF were used in an air bridge that delivered almost 3,500 tons of urgently needed supplies to Pakistan, while engineers and medical personnel from the NATO Response Force were deployed to the country to assist in the relief effort. Evolution The NATO Response Force initiative was announced at the Prague Summit in November 2002. In the words of General James Jones, the then NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe, " … NATO will no longer have the large, massed units that were necessary for the Cold War, but will have agile and capable forces at Graduated Readiness levels that will better prepare the Alliance to meet any threat that it is likely to face in this 21st century ." The NRF concept was approved by Allied Ministers of Defence in June 2003 in Brussels. From concept to reality On 13 October 2004, at an informal meeting of NATO Defence Ministers in Poiana Brasov, Romania, the NATO Secretary General and Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) formally announced that NRF had reached its initial operational capability and was ready to take on the full range of missions. The capabilities of the NRF were tested in a major live exercise, Steadfast Jaguar 06, in the Cape Verde Islands in June 2006. The challenging location was specifically designed to demonstrate and prove the viability of the NRF concept. At NATO's Riga Summit in November 2006, the NRF was declared to be fully ready to undertake operations. Since then, the way the NRF is generated and composed has been adjusted twice, in 2008 and 2010. This was to provide a more flexible approach to force generation, thereby facilitating force contributions which were being hampered by the enduring high operational tempo arising from Iraq, Afghanistan and other missions. To further support force generation, Allies have set themselves voluntary national targets for force contributions. Authority Any decision to use the NRF is a consensual political decision, taken on a case-by-case basis by all 28 Allies in the North Atlantic Council, NATO’s principal decision-making body.
  • Russia-NATO relations
    NATO-Russia relations ?? NATO’s relations with Russia On 1 April 2014, NATO Foreign Ministers condemned Russia’s illegal military intervention in Ukraine and Russia’s violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. NATO does not recognise Russia’s illegal and illegitimate attempt to annex Crimea. ? more News